Warnings/Notes: Season 2 AU, Season 2 spoilers
A/N: Written on tumblr for gagewhitney who wanted something with the dock we saw in the deleted scenes.
Twilight is stretching across everything when Daryl finds Andrea alone on the dock. The tight ball of panic he wants desperately to deny eases at the sight of her. Her straw-colored hair is blowing in the slight breeze, and it looks like she has her feet in the water, mirroring how he sat not too long ago.
She hadn't come to dinner.
He hadn't thought anything about it. Andrea's a big girl and could, mostly, take care of herself. And he's done caring. What did it leave him with? He couldn't save Sophia, and Andrea obviously picked Shane. So he's done.
Liar, Merle sneers inside his head.
Daryl had been content to eat his dinner and not give a shit. Then he saw the look that passed over Shane's face when Dale asked him where Andrea was. It was a momentary thing but Daryl felt a spike of fear for Andrea.
He's not sure why she's out here of all places, but at least she's safe. He sees her gun at her side and thinks, Good girl.
Daryl walks down the dock, the creaking of the wood drawing Andrea's attention. She looks back, hand tightening around her gun, before relaxing at the sight of him.
"Daryl," she says simply, turning back to the water.
"You missed dinner," he tells her. He stands just behind her and tells himself to turn around and go back to camp. He'll tell Dale she's fine and that'll be the end of it.
Andrea holds up a half-eaten protein bar. "I'm good."
"Stuff tastes like ass," he tells her and makes a face of disgust.
She laughs and shakes her head. "Nah, more like cardboard."
He finds himself smiling slightly. "You eat much cardboard, city girl?"
Andrea tips her head back to look at him. "You eat much ass, country boy?"
It's a line that should make him bristle, but he just chuckles instead. "You win many cases with those debatin' skills?"
She rolls her eyes before looking back out across the water. "Come on, pull up a bit of dock," she says and pats the boards beside her. "The water feels good."
Daryl tells himself he's going to turn around and go back to camp. He's got shit to do. He kicks off his boots and sits down next to her. The water is cool against his skin and he imagines taking a swim for brief moment. "Whatcha out here for?"
Andrea shrugs. "I wonder if there are any fish in here. I should ask Hershel."
He eyes the size of the pond. "Pond this size? Should be fish. Why? You planning on catching some?"
"It would give you a break," Andrea tells him softly, peering at him.
Daryl hums softly. He's got the feeling fish isn't what brought her out here, but he's not going to push. Because he remembers her telling him about fishing with her sister, about mermaids.
They sit in silence for a while and it easy. They just are and he's doesn't have to think about anything. Not Merle or Sophia or Carol or Shane.
When Andrea does speak again, he's not expecting it.
"Ever do something you wish you could take back? That you knew was stupid as hell the moment you'd done it?" she asks. She's staring into the growing darkness like she'll see an answer in the fireflies.
"Yeah," he says. He's thinking sitting out here with her isn't one of his smarter moves. She's pretty, smart, and he likes her more than he's got the right to. Merle would call him a dumb fuck for sitting out here and not making a move.
Andrea's foot brushes against his in the water and it takes a lot not to flinch. "I fucked Shane," she says bluntly.
Daryl feels a flash of anger and opens his mouth to tell her he doesn't care who the fuck she fucks. The word slut might even come into it, and it doesn't matter that he'll hate himself for tearing her down because he not going to sit here and listen…
"And I shouldn't have," Andrea goes on sounding like she's furious. "But I was riding high and thought if I can't have who I really want, might as well have some fun with what available. But the way he looked at me after…"
He staring at her harder than he should be, and he feels glued in place. "He's an ass."
She laughs sharply and nods in agreement. "He is. He keeps looking at me now like he thinks he's…entitled…or some shit."
Daryl remembers the look Shane had earlier and clenches his jaw. "Has he…"
"No," Andrea tells him quickly. "Though, he got all kinds of pissed when I told him who I was really interested in."
"Best be careful, angel face. Think Maggie would claw your eyes out if you started making moves on Glenn," he teases awkwardly, feeling out of his depth. He's not sure why he's still sitting here, but at least Merle's quiet.
Andrea laughs and shoves him lightly with her shoulder. "I do not have a thing for Glenn or Rick."
Daryl scratches the back of his head. "Think Dale's a little old for you," he tells her.
She laughs again and he wants to keep hearing that sound. "Not Dale either," she says and pulls her feet from the water. "We should head back to camp."
He can't quite picture her with T-Dog, but that's better than Shane. They both stand and shove wet feet into their shoes. It's that good silence that follows them back towards camp, their arms brushing as they walk.
They're in sight of camp when Andrea puts a hand on his arm. He lets out a shuddering breath and looks down at her graceful fingers resting against his dirty skin.
"Haven't guessed yet?" she asks. There's something affectionate in her voice. A tone he's heard Lori speak to Rick in.
"I was supposed to?" he asks, rubbing the back of his neck.
It happens in a blink. Andrea presses close, she brushes against the skin of his cheek, and then she's stepping back.
"Night, Daryl," she calls as she walks towards her own tent.
Daryl stands watching her go and wonders when the shoe will drop.